Transportation headlines, Monday, Jan. 30

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Toll lanes under consideration in Inland Empire (San Bernardino Sun)

No decisions have been made but county transportation officials said they’re studying adding congestion pricing lanes to the 10 freeway between Ontario and Redlands. Los Angeles County’s experiment in congestion pricing — the ExpressLanes project on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways — is set to begin on the 110 this fall.

Caltrans wants to abandon Highway 39 (L.A. Times)

The agency no longer wants to pay the cost of keeping 27 miles of the road above Azusa open. Problem is, no one else wants to pay that money — i.e. Los Angeles County. I’m extremely doubt the road would ever be closed because it access too many attractions in the Angeles National Forest, including the east and west forks of the San Gabriel River and Crystal Lake. The final 4.4 miles of the road linking 39 to the Angeles Crest Highway have been closed since the late 1970s because of a landslide and to protect Nelson’s bighorn sheep.

AG joins lawsuit against highway-friendly plan in San Diego County (L.A. Streetsblog)

Very interesting story developing down south: State Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined a lawsuit against the regional transportation plan in San Diego County. The gist of it: the AG says the plan didn’t adequately study the impacts of more air pollution from more vehicles driving on San Diego County roads in future years. Critics of the plan say it places too much emphasis on driving and not enough on expanding transit. It’s worth keeping in mind that — at least in my view — the San Diego area hasn’t exactly sat on its hands when it comes to transit. There’s a light rail network, the Coaster commuter rail and congestion pricing on the 15 freeway.

Fold-up city car unveiled in Brussels (Eco News)

Rendering: Hiriko.com.

The foldable “Hiriko” — from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — debuted in Brussels last week. Three can fit into a standard parking space. It’s electric powered with a range of about 100 miles. The trial production of the car is scheduled to begin next year in Spain. The boys and girls at M.I.T. are also working on a three-wheeled EV that will be bike-lane legal.

Texas raises speed limits (Austin American-Statesman)

The limit was raised to 75 miles per hour on about 1,500 miles of road in the state. There were previously 1,445 miles of road with a 75 mph limit and 521 miles with an 80 mph limit. That’s a good way to speed things up and burn a lot more gas.

Gray wolf crosses 395 in NorCal (DFG)

Perhaps the most fascinating environmental story in the Golden State is the arrival of the lone gray wolf that has wandered into Northern California from Oregon. The last documented sighting of a wolf in California was in the 1920s. Now it’s 2012, California has nearly 37.7 million people and one lone wolf — a remarkable testament to the resilience of wildlife and the fact that there’s ample open space in parts of the state for the wolf to survive for at least a while. Of course, one wolf hardly makes a sustainable population of the species. But if one found his way here, it’s possible another may sometime in the future. Here’s a map of the wolf’s travels — a map made possible because of a radio collar the wolf is wearing.

Map by California Department of Fish and Game.

 

 

2 replies

  1. The Hiriko is a brilliant idea for car sharing in cities, but it’s a dud for private sales with few buyers of two-seat automobiles. It’s lack of potential for private auto sales is likely why no major automobile manufacturer decided to produce it. A similar example of this size of two-seater is the Smart ForTwo which is produced in too small a volume to make a profit for it’s parent corporation Damler-Benz.

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